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Harp Darp (also known as “Herp Derp”) is a rage comic face and an expression used to indicate that someone is unintelligent or making ignorant statements. Originally derived from another Internet slang term “derp”, an interjection associated with stupidity, it can be also used as a placeholder for things that cannot be recalled in online conversations.
The face first appeared in a comic titled “Rage Comic FFUU” (shown left) in which the harp darp face is criticized as being poorly drawn. The comic was submitted to the f7u12 subreddit by Redditor ULJarad on May 11th, 2010. Several months later on October 11th, 2010, the phrase “harp darp” was used with the same rage face in another Reddit post titled “Harp Darp poop on my car”, which featured a photo of a window with bird droppings with the face drawn over it (shown right).
The single serving site HarpDarp.com, which displays nothing but a large picture of the rage face, was registered on April 12th, 2011. On April 22nd, the first Urban Dictionary definition for the phrase was submitted by user SaladOnTop:
An exclamation following an instance of high-class stupidity. Like saying Herp Derp, only classier and more pretentious. Hand movements pantomiming a harp player are optional.
On August 10th, 2011, a comic titled “Anytime one of my friends says something dumb now” reached the front page of the f7u12 subreddit which included a version of the face without eyebrows. The post received 8,847 up votes prior to being archived.
On November 16th, Etsy shop owner Alexa De Lima began selling custom hand-carved meme stamps with various rage comic faces including harp darp. The meme has since spread to FunnyJunk, Tumblr and Memebase under the tag “herp derp.” As of March 19th, 2012, 16 public Facebook profiles can be found with the name “Harp Darp.”
The phrase “herp derp” can be alternatively used as a placeholder for words or quotes that cannot be recalled during a conversation, similar to the use of “thingamajig” or “whatchamacallit.” On January 18th, 2012, web developer Tanner Stokes released a Firefox browser extension that turns all comments in any given YouTube page into various sequences of “herp derp.” Months later in July 2012, similar browser applications for Google Chrome, Safari and Opera became available for free download on Tanner’s website.
Click to Download Herp Derp YouTube Comment Converter
The “herp derp” face is primarily used to portray either male or female rage comic characters as less than intelligent or ignorant in a given narrative, although they may represent situations or emotions that readers can easily empathize with.